HDR UK Leadership Team

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Professor Andrew Morris

Director of Health Data Research UK

Since August 2017 Andrew Morris has been the inaugural Director of Health Data Research UK. He is seconded from his position as Professor of Medicine, and Vice Principal of Data Science at the University of Edinburgh, having taken up position in August 2014. Prior to this Andrew was Dean of Medicine at the University of Dundee.

Andrew was Chief Scientist at the Scottish Government Health Directorate (2012-2017) and has served and chaired numerous national and international grant committees and Governmental bodies.

His research interests span informatics and chronic diseases. He has published over 330 original papers, attracted over £50million in grant funding and was the principal investigator of several programme grants including the Wellcome Trust United Kingdom Case Control Collection for Type 2 Diabetes, Generation Scotland, a study of the genetic health in 50,000 Scots, the Wellcome Trust funded Scottish Health Informatics Programme (SHIP), and the Farr Institute in Scotland.

In 2007 he co-founded Aridhia Informatics that employs >70 people in Scotland and uses high performance computing and analytics in health care.

Andrew was previously Governor of the Health Foundation (2009-2017), a leading UK charity that supports quality improvement in health care, and chaired the Informatics Board at UCL Partners, London (2014-2017). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Academy of Medical Sciences.

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Simon Ball

Director, HDR UK Midlands

Director of our Midlands site is Dr Simon Ball. As Consultant Nephrologist at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, his research is both clinical and translational.

It includes the development and evaluation of biomarkers in chronic transplant rejection, transplantation across ABO blood groups and risk factors for acute kidney injuries. After studying for his MA at Oxford University, he went on to do his PhD at Imperial College London and became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in 2005. He became President of the Renal Society in 2014 and is now Director of Digital Healthcare at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS.

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John Danesh

Director, HDR UK Cambridge

Professor John Danesh is Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine and Head of the Department of Public Health and Primary Care at the University of Cambridge. Alongside his role as Site Director for Cambridge, he is also Director of the British Heart Foundation’s Cardiovascular Epidemiology Unit, Associate Faculty Member at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and Honorary Consultant at the Cambridge University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Before receiving his MSc from the London School of Health and Tropical Medicine, he trained in medicine at the University of Otago in New Zealand and at the Royal Melbourne Hospital in Australia. His main research-interests are discovery genomics and cardiovascular genetics, therapeutic target prioritisation, international vascular health, screening and risk prediction, systems genomics and blood donor health and biology.

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Harry Hemingway

Director, HDR UK London

Professor Harry Hemingway is Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at UCL. After studying for his medical degree at Cambridge University, Harry went on to become a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health in 2005.

As a co-founder and Director of the Farr Institute, the central focus of his research is to develop underpinning methods to exploit the scale and phenotypic resolution of electronic health records (EHR) to accelerate early and late phase translational research. He also holds the titles of Director of the Institute for Health Informatics at UCL alongside Director of Healthcare Informatics, Genomics/omics, Data Science at the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at the University College London Hospital.

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Martin Landray

Director, HDR UK Oxford

Our Site Director for Oxford, Professor Martin Landray, is Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of Oxford.

He is also Deputy Director of the Oxford Big Data Institute and his work seeks to further understanding of the determinants of common life-threatening and disabling diseases through the design, conduct and analysis of efficient, large-scale epidemiological studies (including clinical trials) and the widespread dissemination of both the results and the scientific methods used to generate them. He has been a member of the NIHR Commissioning Board and the External Reference Panel for the Ministerial (Biopharmaceutical) Industry Strategy Group Research through Health Data Programme, and is a member of the NHS Digital Research Advisory Group.

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Ronan Lyons

Director, HDR UK Wales and Northern Ireland

Professor Ronan Lyons is Clinical Professor of Public Health at the University of Swansea. As Site Director for Wales and Northern Ireland, he brings over thirty years of experience in clinical medicine, health informatics and public health to HDR UK.

He has wide variety of research interests which focus around the secondary use of health information to support the targeting and evaluation of health and non-health service interventions to improve prevention, care and rehabilitation. After working in several emergency departments, he has a particular interest in the neglected fields prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries. Professor Lyons is Director of Farr Institute (CIPHER) at Swansea University, Chair of International Collaborative Effort on Injury Statistics as well as Director of the National Centre for Population Health and Wellbeing Research.

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Cathie Sudlow

Director, HDR UK Scotland

Professor Cathie Sudlow is Head of Centre for Medical Informatics and Chair of Neurology and Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh alongside being our Site Director for Scotland. She is Chief Scientist of UK Biobank and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Her main research interests are in classical and genetic epidemiological approaches to understanding different subtypes of stroke, and – through involvement with UK Biobank and collaboration with other very large cohorts (including Million Women Study and China Kadoorie Biobank) – large scale prospective observational epidemiology. Her work will evolve over the years ahead to encompass prospective studies of neurodegenerative disorders as well as of stroke and related phenotypes.

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